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United States builds new radar to detect ballistic, hypersonic missiles from Indo-Pacific

Source : NK News

United States builds new radar to detect ballistic, hypersonic missiles from Indo-Pacific
Image: U.S. Missile Defense Agency | Promotional footage of the newly installed Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR)


The U.S. has built a new defense radar in Alaska to protect the country from ballistic and hypersonic missile attacks, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced on Monday, specifically citing threats from a “rogue” state in the region in an apparent reference to North Korea.

The completion of the new Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) comes around two months after North Korean state media boasted of testing a new hypersonic missile called the Hwasong-8, and after U.S. officials confirmed that China also tested a hypersonic glide vehicle in November – a claim that Beijing denied.

While an MDA press release did not refer directly to North Korea by name, a promotional video included DPRK state media video footage of its Sept. 2021 train-launched ballistic missile and said “future configurations” of the radar would be able to detect hypersonic missiles.

Image: U.S. Missile Defense Agency footage, screenshots by NK News | KCTV footage of North Korea’s Sept. 2021 train-launched ballistic missile (top right) was featured in MDA’s promotional video of the new Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR)


In a press conference on Monday, MDA director Jon Hill reportedly said a “rogue nation” in the Indo-Pacific Command region is “targeting the U.S.” and has “demonstrated ballistic missile capability time and again and very recently.” The U.S. military often describes actors such as the DPRK and Iran as “rogue” states.

“The radar was strategically placed in Alaska, so with this wide field of view that we can capture threats coming from that region,” he said, noting the U.S. can now begin testing the radar before making it fully operational.

North Korea has tested multiple ballistic missiles this year, such as a train-launched ballistic missile and “newly-developed tactical guided missiles” in September, as well as a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in October.

Image: Rodong Sinmun, Sep. 29, 2021 | State media’s single image of the new Hwasong-8 missile


The MDA stressed that the new radar system is capable of tracking “multiple small objects” at long ranges and discriminating between lethal and non-lethal projectiles.

“If we can pick out the lethal objects, then we’re going to be shooting at that lethal object and not at boosters or beanbags,” Hill explained.

The MDA added that the new radar can monitor satellites and space debris, after the U.S. State Department condemned Russia for conducting an anti-satellite missile test last month that created “over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris.”

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